My place of work is currently undergoing another restructure, an inoffensive word used to disguise the actual meaning – redundancies. Five year plans are put in place to claw back loses. Long service staffs humiliatingly reapply for their jobs, the newcomers worry about the 25 year mortgage and the contractors start clearing out their desks. The threat of streamlining results in extreme paranoia and the atmosphere at work is not exactly festive.
Some senior leaders appear to have forgotten the good management skills they were taught during the week long excursions to Sussex five star manor houses. If I mirrored certain management behaviours I would be justified in snapping, bullying and using the innocent and less paid as scapegoats. Actually, that’s not a bad idea judging by my recent work disasters… now who can I blame?
The papers report more redundancies - sorry I mean restructuring - and business failures each day. House prices are dropping; interest rates are rising, queues of panicked public wait to withdraw their savings from Northern Rock and that’s only the beginning. Let’s not forget the so called ‘Acts of God’; tsunami’s, earthquakes and extreme flooding in Gloucestershire, to name a few. If we don’t get cancer from eating smoked bacon, or blown up by extremists on the underground, the effects of Global Warming will surely finish us off? The dramatic again talk of Armageddon, whilst the rest optimistically get on with life.
With the imminent possibility of having a desk clearing day and a large mortgage - thankfully not with Northern Rock - I need to ignore the headlines and do some restructuring of my own. Where do I want to be in five years time and how am I going to get there? After much deliberation I have several constantly changing variations of a twelve month ideal, then nothing, my mind goes blank.
Judging from my rant about the end of the world, it’s no wonder I am stuck at a twelve month plan. Fear of an approaching future without sunlight and run by Terminators could make any five year plan too unrealistic a concept, but that is not why I’m stuck. I do not overly worry about scenarios out of my control or unbelievable…. it will take at least 10 years before machines rule the world!
What is stopping me make a five year plan? That is easy to answer; if I carry on living the way I do, I will not be alive in five years to live out my plan. An epidemic is spreading and many suffer from this wide ranging condition. The syndrome can creep up with little warning and can affect all areas of life. It debilitates individuals in different ways and some may not even know they suffer from it. It is called Self Destruction. In summary, I go out with the wrong people, I drink too much, smoke too much and I do not look after myself the way I should.
On too many occasions I wake early morning and punish myself for abusing my body. Telling myself ‘I’m worth more than this’ and pray I can spend the day doing menial jobs so I do not have to acknowledge my brain ache. Finally I slip back to sleep to nightmares of Dr Gillian McKieth screaming eat pulses and nuts whilst examining my poo in a Tupperware box!
Ignoring my brain ache, I believe today will be different. Today I’ll be kind to myself. I strap my pedometer to my ankle and set off on the recommended 12,000 pace hike to work. With the good intentions of a healthy liquid diet drinking only smoothies and water. On-route to work my body screams for carbs, so I build up my pedometer count on detour to the greasy spoon to pick up a bacon sandwich before jumping in a taxi. Twelve espresso’s later and an impromptu invitation out, I continue my liquid diet in the pub.
Are you like me and self destructive? 2008 is stampeding towards us. Armageddon is not around the corner but liver failure might be. Advice to myself is break the daily routine and turn good intentions into a reality. I need to think ahead by creating a realistic month, 12 month then five year plan and decide what changes do I need to do to ensure I get there in one piece?
Where do you ideally see yourself in five years and what do you need to do in order to get there? If you have a mental block past the Christmas holidays, then maybe spend some time to figure out what is stopping you visualise your future? Why not accept ‘you really are worth more than this’ and put self-destruction into hibernation with Gillian.